Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: December 8, 2017 Guest: Barbara Lee, Evan McMullen, Kurt Bardella, David Cicilline, Naveed Jamali
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it.
HAYES: Donald Trump and Roy Moore joined forces.
TRUMP: By the way, he gives a total denial.
HAYES: Tonight, the President hits the stump and tells Alabama to vote for Roy Moore. Then the Trent Franks mystery is solved.
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: I`m going to make a statement.
HAYES: New reporting that the Congressman offered an aide $5 million to carry his child.
Plus, what we`re learning from Hope Hicks marathon meeting with the Mueller team, including an FBI warning about a Russian contact. And the plot to stop Mueller is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would it take to get rid of a Special Counsel?
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. At the end of a week in which no fewer than three members of Congress, as of now, have resigned over sexual harassment and unwanted touching, the President of the United States, a man who faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct is working to help a Senate candidate how himself faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct including with an underage girl. President Trump to appear at any moment in a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, a city that just happens to be less than 20 miles from the border of Alabama. And while the event isn`t explicitly designed to boost alleged child molester Roy Moore ahead of next Tuesday`s Alabama Senate Election, well, it`s pretty clear what is going on here.
A Moore campaign official told NBC News they were "actively encouraging supporters to attend the Trump rally." And Trump today once again told his Twitter followers to vote Roy Moore. Again, these are two men who have each been accused by multiple women of inappropriate behavior. And while the White House insists the charges against Trump were settled by the results of the election, they keep on coming. A new allegation tonight from a former Fox News Anchor who says Trump tried to kiss her in an elevator around the time he married First Lady Melania. Nine women have come forward with stories about Moore including Leigh Corfman who said Moore molested her when she was 14 after picking her up outside a child custody hearing in the court where he worked. And Beverly Young Nelson who said Moore attempted to sexually assault her in his car when she was 16 after her shift as a waitress.
Many of the accounts have been corroborated by friends and family who were told about Moore`s actions at the time. Moore`s signature appears in messages he wrote to two of the women when they were teenagers and multiple sources say he was banned from a mall for his predatory behavior towards young women. Moore claims all the women are lying, that the evidence is fake, that he is a victim of that conspiracy. He has also changed his story, it is important to note. Asked about accuser, Debbie Gibson, who said she dated Moore consensually she says when she was 17 and he was 34. Moore first said, I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates, then we did. He later claimed, "I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women." A new ad from the Stand Up Republic, a group co-founded by my upcoming guest Evan McMullen asked voters to imagine if Moore had targeted their child.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What if she was your little girl, your daughter, your sister? What if she was 16 years old or 15 or even 14? Would you let a 32-year-old man be alone with her, date her, undress her, touch her, have her touch him? That`s what Roy Moore did. He called it dating. We call it unacceptable.
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HAYES: It`s crucial to remember that even before all these allegations emerge, Roy Moore was manifestly unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate. A man who said homosexuality should be illegal. That Muslim should not be allowed to serve in Congress in direct violation of the Constitution. He was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court by fellow Republicans, one should note, for putting his religious views before the rule of law. And at a campaign rally in September, he suggested America was last great when we had slavery.
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ROY MOORE, GOP SENATE CANDIDATE, ALABAMA: I think it was great at the time when families were united, even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. People were strong in the families.
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HAYES: Even though we had slavery. In August, Moore was asked about comments Ronald Reagan made about Russia.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said Russia was the focus of evil in the modern world.
MOORE: Could say that very well about America, couldn`t you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think so?
MOORE: Well, we promote a lot of bad things, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like?
MOORE: Same-sex marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the very argument that Vladimir Putin makes.
MOORE: Well, then maybe Putin is right. Maybe he`s more akin to me than I know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The choice to support or reject Moore has become a moral test of sorts in Republican Party and while a handful of Republicans have indeed rejected Moore, the Party`s most powerful person, who`s the standard bearer is all in. Moore has been fully embraced by President Trump, who, like Moore, says all his accusers are liars and who claims, in Trump`s case, they are too unattractive for him to sexually assault. Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Barbara Lee of California, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Your reaction to the President going to essentially rally for this man, at this moment.
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Chris, I`m glad to be with you. And it`s very clear to me, and I hope it`s clear to the public, that Donald Trump and this man, Mr. Moore, their agenda is the same. When Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency, he campaigned on the birther movement, delegitimizing -- trying to delegitimize the first African-American President. He campaigned with an agenda that Steve Bannon put forward by the alt-right, the white supremacists, and white nationalists. When you look at Roy Moore and what he stands for and what he has said, very similar. I mean, their agendas are the same. So it doesn`t really surprise me that he`s down there campaigning and supporting him. But I`m really very confident that people of conscience and the voters really will see both Donald Trump and Roy Moore for who they are and make sure that this man does not come to the United States Senate.
HAYES: Yes, to Moore`s -- to your point about Moore`s record particularly on the issues of race (INAUDIBLE) that he was someone who has gotten support from confederates of sort of Confederate nostalgics. He has also opposed removing segregation of language from the U.S. Constitution. These are some of the fliers that are going out to voters down there. Roy Moore fought to keep racism enshrined in Alabama with the water fountains there on the right. And George Wallace fought to protect segregation, so did Roy Moore. How important, I mean, you know, obviously, you are a Democrat, Roy Moore is a Republican. You would oppose any Republican that is running for that seat, but how important is preventing him from coming to work with you in the U.S. Capitol, in your mind?
LEE: It`s very important for the country because anyone who has campaigned on racism and bigotry, anyone with a history of trying to deny African- Americans and people of color, equal opportunities, anyone who comes to the United States Senate will continue with this agenda and this is Donald Trump`s agenda. And so, what will he do in the United States Senate? Of course, he will vote for policy that would begin to roll back the tide and roll back policies to the days of Jim Crow and before. And 1he would begin to really move forward on Donald Trump`s agenda in a very aggressive way. And so it`s very dangerous Chris for this man to be in the Senate.
HAYES: Congresswoman, I want to -- I want to get your reaction to another figure I sort of think of in some ways as the same category as Roy Moore. He`s a man whom you do serve with. Steve King is a Congressman from Iowa, who I don`t think it`s unfair to characterize extremist in his views on immigration and views on race, frankly. He said this, today. "Diversity is not our strength." Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He`s quoting Victor Orban there. "Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life by a lower one. He later sort of clarified that he was talking about assimilation. Do you think you`re serving with a white nationalist in the person of Steve King?
LEE: Not only Steve King, there are many in the Congress and in the white -- and of course in the White House who are white nationalists, who reflect the agenda of white supremacists. Just look at what Steve King said. I mean, look at his stance on immigrants. This is a country built on welcoming immigrants. And you have Steve King and you have others in the Congress, in the House and the Senate who are -- who are trying to really make this country as Donald Trump wants to make it back to where I don`t want to even go in terms of the day -- the dark days of slavery and Jim Crow and when people were in slaves and in chains.
HAYES: Do you want to name House Republicans that you feel are in that category?
LEE: Well, no, there are many of them. But I think what you need to do is look at their agenda and how they vote. Look at how they vote and where they stand on the voting rights act. Look where they stand in terms of the new drug war that Jeff Sessions put forth. Look at where they stand in terms of the Affordable Care Act and on policies that will really hurt people of color and low-income people. When you look at their policies and budget priorities, it`s very clear who they are.
HAYES: All right Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Thanks for being with me.
With me now, 2016 Independent Presidential Candidate and one time Republican Evan McMullin who`s group Stand Up Republic is spending $500, 000 on ads opposing Roy Moore and former Breitbart Spokesperson Kurt Bardella, longtime Republican and just wrote an op-ed published today that Roy Moore is the last straw, you can now call me a Democrat. And Kurt, I`ll start with you. Why?
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER BREITBART SPOKESPERSON: You know, what`s going on in Alabama right now is really the embodiment of everything wrong with Republican Party. Just how morally bankrupt they become. When it gets to a point where they would rather put in office a known child sex predator who preyed on teenagers at the local mall, who`s an open racist, homophobic, sexist, they would rather put this guy in office than a crime- fighting prosecutor Doug Jones who happens to be a Democrat. The Party has gone too far. The RNC is funneling money to him. Donald Trump is campaigning for him tonight at a rally and Republicans are by and large silent on this.
HAYES: How -- do you see the stakes in the same way?
EVAN MCMULLEN, FORMER INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do. I think that this is a huge and should be easy test for the Republican Party. They have to go all in on defeating Roy Moore, and instead, they nominated him. And that`s a state decision, state party --
HAYES: The voters did. I mean, if it had been up to the National Republican Party, it would not have been him.
MCMULLEN: Right, but could they have done more? You know, and now you have the RNC putting money into that race. Now, it`s just a little of money. It also sends the message that the party isn`t exactly doing everything they can for him. But they`re not doing everything they can against him, either. It`s that wishy-washiness I think that leads in part to where we are right now and where the party is, where it`s looking into I believe an abyss of political irrelevance. And it`s thinking that it can take a step more towards it, a step towards that extremism on the far right to try to leverage it for a stronger majority or continued majority in Congress. But every time they inch closer to it, they get closer to slipping into it. And I think that if Roy Moore is elected, they are going to slide right into it and they are going to wear him like a scarlet letter around their necks for -- and I actually think that it will be -- it will be a dagger into the heart of the party.
HAYES: I want to ask you, Kurt, you worked at Breitbart, and then you resigned from Breitbart. And they have been a big supporter of Moore`s. Steve Bannon is bit of a supporter of Moore. And there`s a whole architecture that exists around this ideologically that sort of allow people to believe there`s a vast conspiracy involving (INAUDIBLE) from the Washington Post to fabricate these accusers. It`s preposterous on its face. Today, they ran a headline about Beverly Young Nelson who`s the woman there. The bombshell Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson admits she forged the yearbook. Now that`s entirely untrue. What she did say was that she put the date next to Roy Moore`s signature. But how important is it having that kind of ideological mouthpiece doing that kind of work?
BARDELLA: It`s really become crucial. And when Steve Bannon declared Breitbart is the mouthpiece for the alt-right. And what happened over time was for the first time, you have this congregating platform where all the people who will subscribe to these insane beliefs could congregate every day, feed off the one another, share their stories, comments. I mean, look at the comment pages of Breitbart. It`s some pretty scary and extreme stuff but allowed them to really harness around one another, amplify their voice and Steve Bannon really tapped into that and turned that into a political action committee. Breitbart isn`t a news network, it`s a political action propaganda vehicle.
HAYES: All right. So I`m going to give you the argument that I`ve actually heard from Republicans and even some Alabama folks I`ve talked to, I`ve sort of been in correspondence with.
HAYES: Roy Moore is a terrible scoundrel. I believe the women, what he did was despicable. But you know what, politics isn`t bean bag. It`s a two-vote majority in the United States Senate and losing that majority or reducing it by one could mean we don`t get the justice we need on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade. The greater good is to stop the slaughter of innocent unborn. And so, the ends justify the means.
MCMULLEN: I think the problem with that is the idea it will either be somebody as terrible as Roy Moore in getting those things or it will be somebody better and you won`t get those things. The problem when you decide that OK, we`re going to accept somebody as terrible as Roy Moore and we`re going to get those things and you`re OK with that, ultimately you get to a place as you described you`re OK with it for those reasons. You end up -- you keep getting those kind of people over and over again.
MCMULLEN: And you keep--
HAYES: You incentivize it. You create -- you sort of create a new kind of standard.
MCMULLEN: That`s right. Now, the reality is we have to draw a line as Americans, but especially the Republican Party and Conservatives have to get to the point very, very quickly here with Donald Trump in the White House and Moore, potentially on the way to the Senate, if we can`t stop it. They have got to break the cycle and start voting their values -- core American values or they`ll get more of the same, the party will become politically irrelevant, politically impotent.
HAYES: There`s a really perverse dynamic that`s emerged in the wake of this last two -- these last two weeks with Al Franken, and then with Trent Franks and with John Conyers in which if you admit to what you are accused of, then you`re going to face some consequences. But if you just flat out deny and call the women liars as the President of the United States has done and as Roy Moore has done, Kurt, then maybe you can get away with it. This is an actual thing, a new -- there`s an e-mail from a pro-Moore super PAC that says Al Franken has proven Roy Moore is innocent. These abusers don`t stop, it`s a way of life, that`s what they all have been forced to admit their misdeeds. You did verify a recent evidence as if Al Franken somehow shows that Roy Moore didn`t do what he was accused of.
BARDELLA: And therein lies Chris, really one of the major issues I personally have with the Republican Party which is the complete destruction of truth and fact. And the idea that at the highest level of our entire government, our political institution, it`s now standard operating procedure to lie, to attack those who have become victims of what you have perpetrated upon them and to completely wash it over in hopes that over time, you can repeat it enough that it will just become fact. You can make up your own reality and completely dismiss what your entire pass and actions have without any consequences. And it`s ironic that Al Franken said, as he resigned, here he is, he`s taking responsibility, he`s accepting a consequence while the President of the United States, who arguably has committed more sexual harassment than anybody who has resigned from his offer so far is the President thriving and refuses to accept or acknowledge reality.
HAYES: All right, Evan McMullen and Kurt Bardella, thank you both for being with me tonight.
Up next, the incredible story behind the sudden and immediate resignation of Republican Trent Franks, including a $5 million offer to his female staffer. What it was for is after this two-minute break.
HAYES: Trent Franks, a prominent member of the Freedom Caucus and the extremely hard edge religious conservative said yesterday that he would be resigning from Congress at the end of January after an ethics investigation into his, "discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates." Today, he suddenly changed his mind and resigned effective immediately. It was a puzzling turn of events for about half an hour and then two big news stories dropped about the surrogacy discussion and it all became clear.
First, the AP reported that a former aide to Franks said, the Congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate. The former staffer said the Congressman asked at least four times if she`d be willing to act as a surrogate in exchange for money. And Politico reported that not only had Franks approached two female staffers about acting as a potential surrogate for him and his wife, but it was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating them through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization. Joan Walsh, MSNBC Political Analyst, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation joins me now.
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me to talk about this.
HAYES: Well, this is a new one.
WALSH: It`s very new. Yes. I mean, maybe the worst thing about it was this afternoon when he said he was resigning because his wife as a medical condition. The poor wife. He brings the wife into this. She has a medical condition. It`s called Trent Franks is my husband. So --
HAYES: Well, and there was the sense, you know, yesterday was like, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Trent Franks says I`m resigning because I had this discussion of surrogacy and everyone was kind of like, well, that`s a little weird. But then -- but you know, resignation were the -- and then there was Paul Ryan release a statement saying, we got this information, I asked him to resign. This puts that in a different light.
WALSH: Well, it does. And it was interesting though. Right away, my friends who cover the Christian right had the story. I mean, they didn`t write the story because they didn`t have the details but it was like he is you know, conservative Christian, in vitro fertilization is wrong, artificial insemination is also wrong. There`s a danger of creating fertilized eggs that then get destroyed. And so people were like, this is probably what he was getting at.
HAYES: Oh really. You --
WALSH: Right away, last night, drive -- riding home from here, I had a friend who said that who covers the --
HAYES: And then today he had this long statement explaining a very long sort of statement explaining about how the fact that the first in vitro fertilization he did was done in ways that are essentially pro-life compliant.
WALSH: Didn`t destroy embryos, right. And so, I don`t -- then that raises the questions about that surrogacy -- well whatever, I`m not going to go there, how they came up with a biblically acceptable way of doing that. But yes, it`s pretty creepy. And again, you know, I believe these women. And this is a new one.
HAYES: I also wonder like this is someone who, it`s a little bit like Roy Moore and that -- this is someone who is extreme --
WALSH: One of the most.
HAYES: -- Christian conservative, one of the sort of most sort of intolerant. He talked about gay marriage being the greatest threat to American civilization, greater than any enemy.
WALSH: Hugely anti-choice.
HAYES: Yes. There`s, of course -- a lot of people today making handmade tales jokes.
HAYES: For obvious reasons but there is a sort of bizarre connection between his ideological commitments and what he appears to have done.
WALSH: Yes, I mean, but I can`t figure out which was -- what was driving what because --
HAYES: That`s a fair point.
WALSH: -- clearly trying to with at least one of the woman, she took a -- he wanted her to take a quiz to show that she was in love with him. So there was definitely something sexual going on. It wasn`t just we have to do it this way because God says. It`s doubly creepy to me from what`s come out this afternoon.
HAYES: What do you make of this week and that we`ve now -- this is Trent Frank -- and this is amazing, three members of Congress stepped down this week.
HAYES: And it almost feels like ceased story. I mean, it`s a big story but you got a U.S. Senator Al Franken, and you have the longest-running member of the House John Conyers, and then you got Trent Frank who`s a fairly powerful Republican.
WALSH: He`s been there a long time.
HAYES: He`s been there a while and he`s got you know, he`s got some juice. It`s pretty head snapping.
WALSH: It is head snapping. Although, as you know, you know, I just -- I`m so uncomfortable putting them in the same basket and you are not doing that.
HAYES: They were accused of doing very, very different things.
WALSH: Very, very different things. And you know, Senator Franken I think is suffering disproportionately, considering these comparisons you know.
HAYES: I guess my question to you though is do you think there`s going to -- that a standard has been set now where we are going to be doing three a week?
WALSH: Maybe. I mean, I`m not going to say any names on air, but I think there are new revelations out tonight. And you know, The Washington Post and CNN, people have said -- are investigating 20-40 Congress members. I assume, I can say Congressmen, but maybe not. So you know, we might.
HAYES: Safe assumption, I think.
WALSH: I`m just trying to be -- I`m just trying to be kind.
HAYES: That`s yes. You can (INAUDIBLE) but I think--- right.
WALSH: Keep an open mind.
HAYES: Yes, I should say that I believe the Hill is reporting tonight that Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida, an interesting case. He was previously impeached for bribery when he was a federal judge by a Democratic congressman. He ran for Congress and was elected. $220 settlement for the woman who accused him of harassment, so --
WALSH: It`s going to continue. We are going to be talking about this, unfortunately, many more times I think.
HAYES: I imagine we`re also going to learn some more about Trent Franks. This is not the end of the Trent Frank story. Joan Walsh, thanks for joining us.
WALSH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, the intensifying campaign to discredit Robert Mueller has gone from cable news to the halls of Congress. The far reaches of a new conspiracy theory after this.
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SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Can anyone explain to me, anybody at all, how Robert Mueller`s investigation can be described as fair, impartial, not biased. A lot of questions John, being raised about OK, this team that literally has covered for Hillary Clinton and put all these bias people going after Donald Trump, you know, what would it take to get rid of a Special Counsel?
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HAYES: What (AUDIO GAP). Now, the closer the Special Counsel gets to the President, the more his allies at Trump T.V. are promoting the theory that senior officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI conspired to help Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump. Now, according to this theory which is presented for hours on end every night, it was a secret project that began way back to the Clinton e-mail probe, continuing into the Russia investigation. Now, it`s tough to buy for a number of reasons, not at least of which is at the two officials overseeing those investigations. James Comey first and then Robert Mueller are both Republicans, lifelong ones. And if the FBI had been in the tank for Hillary Clinton, well, they could have done a lot more and try to help her win.
For example, they could have leaked the fact that they have an open investigation of Donald Trump`s campaign Manager Paul Manafort during the election or that they had gotten a FISA warrant to surveil his Foreign Policy Adviser Carter Paige during the campaign. Based on the probable cause that Paige was a foreign agent, none of that leaked, however. Instead, someone fed a bogus story to the New York Times which reported in a seeming definitive fashion the FBI found no clear links between the Trump campaign and Russia. That has not held up too well. The FBI could have sounded the alarm much earlier and more vehemently about Russia`s responsibility for the anti-Clinton hacks, instead of dragging its feet on the official statement blaming Russia, one that was eventually released by the U.S. government.
And yet, despite all that, this FBI conspiracy theory that they were in the tank for Hillary is now, amazingly, being used as a weapon against the Russia investigation, laying the groundwork either to get Mueller fired or to dismiss the ultimate outcome of his probe. And it has now traveled from Trump T.V. to a few extremist Congressmen, to senior members of the U.S. Senate, including one-time Trump critic, Lindsey Graham. You remember him from calling the President a cook. This morning, Graham tweeted "it`s long past time for a special counsel to investigate Clinton e-mail scandal, Uranium One, roll fusion GPS and FBI and DOJ bias during the 2016 campaign. The next steps and the plot to stop Robert Mueller right after this.
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REP. DON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: We have a question about how about this dossier was generated for political purposes, it ended up in the FBI`s possession. What did the FBI do with it?
REP. MATT GAETZ, (R) FLORIDA: So, we don`t know whether Mr. Mueller recruited people as a consequence of their bias. We don`t know whether Hillary Clinton was treated as special. We don`t know whether the FBI used taxpayer money to go and buy a dossier to discredit the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Fresh off their performance yesterday at the hearing of the House Judiciary Committee with FBI director Christopher Wray, Florida Congressman Ron Desantis and Matt Gaetz got a very special treat: a ride on Air Force One to Pensacola where the president tonight is holding a campaign rally that just so happens to be taking place right across the border from Alabama. They have got a little special election coming up there. You might have heard about it.
Desantis and Gaetz and both proponents of the conspiracy theory that the FBI and the Justice Department are carrying out a political vendetta against the president. And next week they`ll they will get a shot at attacking those institutions when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight of the Russia probe, appears before a House Judiciary.
I`m joined now by a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island. It`s nice to have you here.
REP. DAVID CICILLINE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: Great to be here.
HAYES: What is your understanding of what your colleagues in the -- Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are up to?
CICILLINE: Well, I think what we saw when the director testified before the House Judiciary Committee, that they were intending to begin the work to undermine the integrity of the FBI and the investigation of Robert Mueller. To see my Republican colleagues really attack the agency and the professionals who work there every day, who risk their lives to keep our country safe, I think it was shameful.
And these are men and woman who do an extraordinary job. It`s an incredibly respected agency. And I this investigation has moved into the White House now with the plea of Michael Flynn. I think they are doing the president`s bidding on the committee.
HAYES: I want to play you a passage yesterday, in which your colleague Louie Gohmert and Christopher Wray were going back and forth in which he was naming individual agents, trying to get their political affiliation. Take a listen.
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REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, (R) TEXAS: Are you aware of any of the following people openly aligning themselves with the political bias expressed by McCabe or openly speaking against this administration?
First Carl Gattis?
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: I`m going to quarrel a little bit with the premise of your question about Deputy Director McCabe.
GOHMERT: All right.
WRAY: But as far as Executive Assistant Director Gattis, as I said, he has been a complete professional, and by that I mean to include...
GOHMERT: Have you heard him open or align himself with political bias against the Trump administration?
GOHMERT: Josh Schul (ph)?
GOHMERT: Maurice Amincer (ph)?
WRAY: I actually don`t know who that is.
GOHMERT: OK. All right. Thank you. Fair enough.
Ryan Parmin (ph)?
GOHMERT: All right, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What is he up to there?
CICILLINE: You know, again, this is an effort to try to, I think, really in many ways intimidate the agents of the FBI from doing their job. This is...
HAYES: I mean, is that appropriate?
CICILLINE: It`s not appropriate. The whole line of questioning that some of my colleagues conducted that afternoon was inappropriate. We haven`t had meaningful oversight in the Judiciary committee of many of the acts of this administration that are worthy of oversight hearings. To watch Republican colleague after Republican colleague undermine the professional work of the FBI -- you know, for the agents who are doing this work every day, thousands of professionals who are risking their lives to do this important work, that are upholding the rule of law in this country, to watch that effort was really embarrassing.
And we use the opportunity to highlight the importance of protecting Robert Mueller in the investigation, because this is -- I`m fearful, the beginning of an effort to undermine and really set the context for the president to ultimately go after Robert Mueller.
HAYES: Well, that brings us to Rod Rosenstein who will be appearing before a committee next week. And of course, he`s a key figure here because he appointed Robert Mueller and as Sessions is recused from anything having to do with that investigation, he essentially is the person to whom Mueller reports.
What do you think we have in store when he comes before your committee?
CICILLINE: Well, I hope we have in store a strong statement from him that he will protect the integrity of the investigation, ensure that it has the resources it needs to be completed.
HAYES: Do you have confidence in him? Do you trust him?
CICILLINE: I think he has a lot to prove.
HAYES: What`s that hesitation? Why?
CICILLINE: Well, I think, you know, I think the firing of Jim Comey.
HAYES: And his role in that?
CICILLINE: And his role in that raises some serious questions. He has the opportunity to redeem himself by conducting himself appropriately by reassuring the committee and the American people, that he will protect the integrity of this investigation. He will not allow anyone to interfere. I mean, we have reports now of the president trying to interfere with the ongoing investigations at the Congress. We want to be sure that Rod Rosenstein is doing everything that is necessary to protect this.
He has an opportunity before the Judiciary Committee to make that clear to the committee and to the American people.
HAYES: Do you foresee -- I mean, is Rosen -- is he also going to be a target of your colleagues? Are they looking to go after him?
HAYES: I assume. I mean, I think their intention is to continue to create this narrative that somehow we can`t trust the FBI, that somehow we can`t trust the results of this investigation. I think nothing could be further from the truth.
And as I said, we have an opportunity to use this occasion with Rod Rosenstein for him to really emphatically say, to look those Republicans in the eye, and the Democrats on the committee, and say I will protect the special counsel. No one is going to interfere or impede or stop this investigation.
HAYES: David Cicilline, who was the mayor of Providence Rhode Island after Buddy Cianci, a man who knew a thing or two about an FBI investigation that he was the subject of.
Congressman Cicilline, great to have you here.
CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Still ahead, if Hope Hicks was warned about contact from Russians during the transition, it`s hard to believe Trump didn`t know. A new Russia investigation report is coming up.
Plus, how many Romney`s can Trump trump? Thing One, Thing Two is next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, during the campaign, Mitt Romney was a vocal Never Trumper. You remember he gave a big speech about it.
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MITT ROMNEY, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His bankruptcies, have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them. He inherited his business, he didn`t create it. And whatever happened to Trump airlines? How about Trump University? And then there`s Trump magazine? And Trump vodka? And Trump steaks. And Trump mortgage.
A business genius, he is not.
Here is what I know, Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But as we all know, after Trump was elected, Mitt Romney, well he came around. He went to Trump`s golf course to kiss the ring, not quite literally, and interviewed to be Trump`s secretary of state. They famously dined together at the super fancy Jean Georges Restaurant in New York which looked like fun for almost everyone there. Mitt, of course, does speak French, as you know.
But after all that, Romney got snubbed. Trumped picked Rex Tillerson for the job. And Mitt Romney went back to Utah. And if you think that ordeal was humiliating? Wait until you hear about the Romney Trump did pick for a job. That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And joining us right now is the new chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Ronna Romney McDaniel, happens to be Mitt Romney`s niece. Congratulations on the job.
RONNA ROMNEY MCDANIEL, RNC CHAIRWOMAN: Thank you. This is my first interview since being elected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of Mitt Romney, was tapped by Donald Trump to be the head of the RNC. In fact, he picked Ronna Romney McDaniel just one day after snubbing Mitt Romney for the secretary of state job.
But tonight, we are learning something new and strange about Trump`s decision to hire Ronna Romney McDaniel. The Washington Post reports President Trump had a request would she be willing to stop using her middle name publicly? Trump followed up saying in a light-hearted way that McDaniel, the niece of Mitt Romney, could do what she wanted, according to two people familiar with the comments. But, the change was soon plain for all to see. Though she had used her maiden name for years in Michigan, where of course her grandfather had been governor, McDaniel dropped Romney from most official party communications and has rarely used it since.
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UNIDENTIFIED FAMEL: Joining us now to discuss is Ronna McDaniel, Republican National Committee chairwoman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronna McDaniel, thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ronna McDaniel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronna McDaniel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ronna McDaniel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronna McDaniel, GOP chairwoman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ronna McDaniel, thanks so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has spent a lot of effort was the Republican resistance to Donald Trump. He gave a rousing speech on the Senate floor in October calling out Trump`s, quote, reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior. He wrote a book "Conscience of a Conservative," which laments his party`s complicitcy (ph) in the rise of Trump, and he tweeted a picture of a check for $100 made out to the campaign of Democratic Alabama Senate Candidate Doug Jones with the caption party over country.
That`s how Senator Flake portrays himself in the public eye. And according to 538, Flake has voted in line with Trump`s position 90 percent of the time, like he did last week on a big corporate tax cut. He was confronted about that vote yesterday on a flight to Phoenix by activist Adie Barkin (ph) who suffers from ALS, or Lou Gerig`s disease.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m 33. I have an 18-month-old son. And out of nowhere I was diagnosed with ALS, which, you know, has a life expectancy of 3 to 4 years, no treatment, no cure. I probably will need to go on a ventilator to live.
But, this tax bill is probably going to force $400 billion in automatic PayGo cuts. What should I tell my son or what should you tell my son if you pass this bill and he cuts funding for disability and I can`t get a ventilator?
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: Both Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan had already issued statements saying that they`re not going to implement PayGo.
You can choose to believe that or not.
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HAYES: After their exchange, Flake treated, quote, I enjoyed the conversation, A.D. We won`t always agree, but I admire your courage and knowledgeable advocacy.
To which Barkin (ph) responded "your words have been potent all year, back them up with your votes. This is your moment. Be America`s hero."
A sentiment backed up on a giant sign on top of the Arizona Democratic Party in Phoenix right now.
Up next, one week after the Flynn indictment, there`s news about the White House communications director and the Russia investigation. The latest on that after this.
HAYES: It`s been one week since Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser to President Trump pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. Just one week since we learned Flynn is cooperating in the Russia investigation.
Today, the revelations in the Russia investigation just keep coming. The New York Times reporting that the FBI warned Trump adviser Hope Hicks about emails from Russian operatives during a presidential transition, quote, "after he took office, senior FBI counterintelligence agents met with Ms. Hicks in the White House situation room at least twice, gave her the names of the Russians who had contacted her and said they are not who they claim to be.
The FBI was concerned the emails to Ms. Hicks may have been part of Russian intelligence operation and they urged Ms. Hicks to be cautious.
There is no evidence Hicks did anything improper, according to the Times report, but the defensive briefing was not routine. A lawyer for Hicks declined to comment to The Times. Investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller`s office had been interviewing Hicks, currently the White House Communications Director for the past two days.
MSNBC contributor Naveed Jamali is a former FBI double agent, author of "How to Catch a Russian Spy," and MSNBC tourism analyst Malcolm Nance is the author of the "Plot to Hack America."
And Malcolm, I`ll start with you about the news of the sort of defensive briefing. I mean, one thing I think we could lose sight of is there is a real open question about what exactly the Trump administration and the Trump campaign or the Trump transition did. We know a bunch of what they did. There is more that may be revealed. But what seems just beyond a doubt right now is the Russians were really, really, really, really trying a lot of ways to get to these people.
MALCOLME NANCE, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, certainly the Russians were trying many ways to get to these people. And there is a reason that they were doing activities like going after Hope Hicks but from multiple directions because it was very successful in doing it over the previous year.
She was a key player. And as we`re finding out in the Mueller investigation right now, she was in the room for many different activities. So, the Russians after going after the main players will always go after the secondary players and Naveed will tell you that in a moment.
But for her purposes, for her to have multiple individuals coming at her that claim to be and the FBI having to watch that intelligence as it comes in, watch her own emails as they`re being sent to her, they probably unmasked her name in some intelligence reports to determine who it was and then bring it to her attention is extraordinary.
HAYES: Naveed, there are so many different intermediaries that have now racked up in the various bits of reporting and it`s something you have talked about a lot, about the sort of ways in which intermediaries are used. What do you make of this sort of -- I mean, it`s such a bizarre list when you put it down. It`s sort of -- the number of characters from Rob Goldstone and Agalorov (ph) to (inaudible) to the professor in London who Papodopoulos was talking to. It`s such a bizarre group of people. It`s kind of hard to make sense of.
NAVEED JAMALI, FORMER FBI DOUBLE AGENT: That`s exactly right, Chris. And to Malcolm`s point, look what this is, is Russian spies, and they have a very standard procedure. They target people then they recruit them and if you make it through the recruitment, you are an actual asset. What that means, Chris, very simply is that you are now taking orders from the Kremlin.
You know, when I was active in my operation, that`s what the Russians thought to do with me. They were aware that I was applying to the Navy`s intelligence officer. They targeted me. They recruited me. And I made it through that recruitment process.
When it comes to Hope Hicks, it`s clear. Now look, many people are targeted, not many people make it past that phase. It`s also important to make this crystal clear, you can be targeted. That is not an illegal thing.
HAYES: Right. Right. It`s not your fault that you`re being targeted.
JAMALI: That`s exactly right.
the one thing I will say about Hope Hicks very quickly is that what is interesting is that the Mueller team, that the FBI actually decided to do that for Flynn. They didn`t decide to do that for Kushner. It`s a really interesting thing that the only person who received a defensive brief was Hope Hicks.
HAYES: I want to talk to you, Malcolms, about George Papadopoulos. Now, he`s a figure who I don`t think figured in anyone`s thinking about this until, of course, his plea deal was unsealed and we found out that he had pleaded guilty, that he had had contacts with the professor in London who said he was connected to Russians. He was informed that the Russians had Hillary Clinton`s emails before that even became public. And the defense in the Trump team was he was the guy who made coffee. He wasn`t close to anyone, despite the fact he`s famously in a meeting with Jeff Sessions and the president of the United States, then the candidate.
His fiancee, Simona Mangiante (ph), is pushing back on the idea that he was a peripheral figure. I want to play her interview to you and get your reaction. Take a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Had meetings with the leaders all over the world. He was constantly in touch with the higher level official campaign and he never took any initiative as far as I know unauthorized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he in touch with the chief strategist Steve Bannon?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. As far as I know, yes. I know Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in touch with Michael Flynn, General Flynn?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you make of that, Malcolm?
NANCE: Well, what I think is fascinating about this is she is just giving voice to what we already believed the Mueller investigation had. We`re just getting more color in depth. We`re not going to hear about this from Mueller until Mueller starts indicting other people, right?
NANCE: I mean, that`s a man of action. He does not mince words. He just comes out and hits you with an indictment.
But she is now letting us know that some of these principle players that were on the Donald Trump Jr. emails that were carbon copies, that were carbon copies on the K.T. McFarland memo about Michael Flynn speaking to Kislyak in the December 28 meetin, all of these people are going to, you know, move up to the top at some point.
And Mueller is doing it in silence, and she is just telling us what she heard in the room from Papadopoulos that, you know, these people were players. And I think that, you know, I think that the Mueller investigation won`t worry about this little disclosure, but it will certainly make their intended targets worry a lot.
HAYES: Naveed, since I have you here and we talked about this earlier in the show, and Malcolm just mentioned Mueller, I mean, you worked for the FBI, and curious what your reaction is to watching the integrity of the investigation, the investigation itself, Mueller, his agents and the FBI sort of as a whole, the idea of politically independent investigation in law enforcement be attacked by the president and his allies.
JAMALI: Well, and full disclosure, I actually worked when Mueller was the director of the FBI. He actually signed my letter of commendation.
Look, what I can tell you, Chris, is when I was active, I was active in a, you know, against the Russians. I would walk into places where I didn`t know if the Russians had guns. I was fearful of my safety. I never doubted the FBI, never doubted their professionalism. I never doubted their loyalty and their loyalty to duty.
I mean, to sort of see them sort of dragged through the mud, just the rank and file, the special agents, it`s disheartening. It`s disheartening for them. It`s disheartening for my friends who still work there.
You know, I wish Americans could sort of see what the counter intelligence folks do at the FBI. They would be proud of this. And it is based on nothing, but partisanship for them to be sort of maligned in that fashion.
HAYES: Malcolm, you had something you want to add?
NANCE: Yeah, he`s absolutely right. I love the bureau guys, because when it comes to collection, they are the intelligence branch of the domestic United States. And usually in operations that I was involved with, sometimes our agencies would loan them transcribers in foreign languages and things like that, but these guys when it comes to the national intelligence gumshoeing, going after people that are spies, who are traitors to the United States, they are really good at that job. And I suspect their being really good at that job is why the administration is maligning them.
They don`t know what kind of truck is about to hit them with the FBI. When they get their teeth into it, they are just going to get down to the bottom of this and Mueller is not going to be deterred.
HAYES: All right, Naveed Jamali and Malcolm Nance, thank you both.
That is All In for this evening.
Up next, Rachel Maddow with a special report on the dossier, who wrote it, who released it and what we now know to be true. The Dossier starts now.
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